CyrusOne News and Blog

Pilot project gets the LED out at Austin Met III and San Antonio

December 2, 2021

There’s a dirty little secret about older lighting technology – it converts more of its electricity into heat than into light. Thankfully, there’s a cleaner solution.

LED lighting is generally more efficient than halogen incandescent and fluorescent lamps, it produces less heat, and it eliminates waste from mercury halogen bulb replacements. That’s why as part of our holistic approach to sustainability, CyrusOne has joined with innovative energy efficiency-as-a-service (EAAS) partner Redaptive on a pilot program to retrofit our Austin Met III and San Antonio I data centers with higher efficiency LEDs.

The 10-year contract requires no up-front capital outlay. San Francisco-based Redaptive will pay the up-front costs and implement the LED lighting upgrade with the cooperation of CyrusOne Operations and CyrusOne’s preferred suppliers. CyrusOne customers will see no service interruptions during the retrofit, but CyrusOne will see reduced energy usage, lower energy costs and improved PUE, which is often a determining factor for customers when they consider data center contracts.

The several-month project will replace some 1,600 traditional lamp fixtures in Austin and 1,550 in San Antonio with high-quality LEDs with 10-year warranties.

CyrusOne expects annual output for utilities at both facilities to drop immediately thanks to the retrofit. Austin’s annual lighting energy consumption is expected to fall 31% to 125,657 kWh, while San Antonio’s is estimated to plunge 54% to 153,356 kWh.

Beyond less energy usage, LEDs’ appeal also shines through in other clever ways. Coupled with occupancy sensors, they can deliver lighting only where and when it’s needed.

Each LED fixture in Austin and San Antonio will have its own motion sensor. When there’s no motion in an area, the LEDs won’t just shut it off totally – they’ll reduce their light output to 20%. This will prevent anyone within the data centers from experiencing the disorienting effect of walking down hallways that are dark at the opposite end.

The same will hold true for the sensors on outdoor lighting at the data centers. The outdoor LEDs will drop to 20% for efficiency, but they will still provide enough light to keep all security cameras working. And as soon as they detect motion, they’ll power back up to 100%.

Additionally, the LEDs come with non-intrusive metering that uses a cell signal to send metering data to a hub. CyrusOne will use a website to analyze all the data the meters produce. This meter data can be extrapolated hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or annually, so adjustments can be made to create even more efficiency and CyrusOne can be sure the reduced energy outputs are as promised.

Once the retrofits are complete and full data analysis from the pilot program has occurred, CyrusOne intends to retrofit its other data centers armed with the experience and knowledge gained from the projects in Austin and San Antonio.

After all, seeing is believing, and it’s always a bright idea to cut energy usage as part of an overall sustainability strategy. To read more about CyrusOne’s vast sustainability efforts, please read its recently published 2021 Sustainability Report.